CFAES sustainability news, Jan. 19, 2021

No need to fear coyotes

Youngstown Vindicator, Jan. 10; research involving Stan Gehrt, School of Environment and Natural Resources, cited

Inspired by tailgaters, Ohio State students land $340,000 funding for portable ‘power as a service’ startup

Business First, Jan. 8, 2021

To the editor: Climate changes impact Ohio farmers

Toledo Blade, Jan. 4; Aaron Wilson, OSU Extension, cited

Major new effort announced to restore soil

In heavily farmed parts of Central America, South America, and across the Caribbean, “the most degraded soils have not reached the point of no return. They can still be restored.”

So says CFAES’ Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and 2020 World Food Prize laureate, who’s helping lead a new, 34-country initiative to tackle that restoration.

Why it’s important: Some 36 million people in the region don’t have enough good food to eat, and degraded soils play a role in it. Success, Lal says, will mean “we can eliminate hunger and malnutrition in the region, and we can protect the natural resources that are now being degraded.”

Read the story.

Truckload of good

Last year, Ohioans working as Master Gardener Volunteers grew nearly 80,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables—equal to the weight of a fully loaded 18-wheeler, or about 65,000 meals—which they donated to some 101 food pantries across Ohio to help people in need.

Mike Hogan, an OSU Extension educator who facilitates the Master Gardener Volunteers program in Franklin County, said the need for such donations “significantly increased this year due to the pandemic.”

Master Gardener Volunteers are plant lovers who donate their expertise and time serving the public. CFAES’ outreach arm, OSU Extension, runs the program, which gives training and has volunteers in most of the state’s counties.

Read the full story.

What to do with a Christmas tree after Christmas? A quick Q&A with 3 experts from CFAES

Sales of real Christmas trees “are booming as pandemic-weary Americans seek solace,” said a recent headline in the New York Times.

That’s good news for Christmas tree growers, like these in Ohio. But in the interest of recycling and reducing solid waste, what are some good green options to do with a Christmas tree after Christmas?

Here are suggestions from three CFAES experts.

Continue reading

O-H, tannenbaum! CFAES expert shows you how to plant your own live Christmas tree

Here’s a pro tip: If you’re planning to decorate and later plant a live balled-and-burlapped Christmas tree, dig the hole ahead of time before the ground freezes hard. That means, in Ohio, you can do that as soon as right now.

Another option: Make a pile of leaves or straw in the spot where you want to plant your tree. Doing that can keep the ground from freezing—and the hole from filling with water—before you plant.

Want more pro tips? Watch this video by Paul Snyder of CFAES’ Secrest Arboretum. It’s an easy-to-follow 10-minute how-to on what to do.

Continue reading

CFAES sustainability news, Dec. 9, 2020

The world’s soil champion

Wicked Leeks (UK), Dec. 4; featuring Rattan Lal, School of Environment and Natural Resources

Scientist Linda Saif has been a trusted partner during pandemic

Farm and Dairy, Nov. 28; featuring Linda Saif, Food Animal Health Research Program

COVID-19 pandemic worsening food insecurity

Farm and Dairy, Nov. 26; featuring Zoe Plakias, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

A day, a new effort on behalf of the soil

Today, on World Soil Day, CFAES celebrates the essential role of soil in sustaining life.

And we use this day to share exciting news. CFAES’ Rattan Lal Carbon Management and Sequestration Center and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture are teaming up to launch the new “Living Soils of the Americas” initiative. Its goals: Fight the degradation of soil, improve people’s food security.

Read more about the initiative.

CFAES sustainability news, Dec. 2, 2020

Solar farms in Ohio

WOSU, Nov. 30; featuring Brent Sohngen, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Are we making raccoons smarter?

CBS Sunday Morning, Nov. 29; featuring Stan Gehrt, School of Environment and Natural Resources

Ohio State, landfill and brewery among largest greenhouse gas emitters in county

Columbus Dispatch, Nov. 26